Twitter Bot Busts Bike Lane Scofflaws in Real Time

A new automated Twitter feed nails every car reported to block a bike lane in San Francisco, posting pictures, license plates, and exact locations.

Screenshot: @EverySF311Bike via Twitter

Drivers who park in bike lanes, get ready to get shamed and have your car’s make, model, and license plate number blasted on Twitter. There’s a new bot in town called Every Blocked Bike Lane Report SF that’s automating tweets of every reported SF311 bike lane violation complaint. This bot is not meddling in elections, but is instead providing digital vigilante justice for everyone who reports the infuriatingly common ‘automobile in bike lane’ violation.

“Unofficial bot. I tweet every blocked bike lane report with a photo from @SF311,” the @EverySF311Bike bot says in its Twitter profile bio. SF311 is a service that “connects customers with highly-trained Customer Service Representatives ready to help you with non-emergency City and County of San Francisco government matters.” This bot is automatically aggregating and posting all SF311 submitted bike lane violation photo submissions.

And you’d better believe that “Uber in the bike lane,” or some variation of that phrase, turns up on a pretty regular basis in the bot-tweets that started posting this past Monday.

The @EverySF311Bike bot did not return comment for this article. It is, after all, a bot. But the bot has struck a nerve among bicyclists who feel these lane violations are an often life-threatening effect of the gig and delivery economy.

A Reddit thread dedicated to the @EverySF311Bike bot has drawn well over 100 comments. “I have seen, on multiple occasions, some jackass driver choose to double park in the bike lane when there is an open parking spot directly to their right,” one annoyed biker posted.

Critics could complain about the potential privacy violations of posting car models and license plate numbers. But these drivers are being photographed clearly breaking the law, and the bot is just busting them for demonstrable parking violations that could do a cyclist significant harm.

 

Or in occasional cases, Dumpy McDumpsterfaces that could do a cyclist harm.

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